Tikkum Olam with World Food Day

Ellen Futterman

Ellen Futterman

One-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed and one-third is starving, according to World Health Organization estimates. Since you started reading this column, at least 200 people have died of starvation. Over 4 million will die this year.

The good news is that there is something we all can do.

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From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will commemorate World Food Day by packaging more than 200,000 rice/soy protein meals for the critically malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa. Volunteers – adults and children as young as age 7 accompanied by a parent – can work to assemble the ingredients for this packet, which feeds up to six children. The packets will then be sealed and delivered to villagers in this region.

Volunteers are asked to contribute $15 for students 7 and up and $20 for adults to cover the cost of the food, packaging, administration and delivery – it actually costs double that but the Danforth Center and other sponsors and donors are covering that.

In addition, on Oct 15 the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry will be collecting non-perishable canned foods at the Danforth Center, 975 N. Warson Road in Olivette. For more information, go to www.danforthcenter.org/worldfoodday or call 314-587-1076.

On the subject of food and giving, Busch’s Grove in Ladue is hosting “Gourmet for a Cause,” between 4 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 to help six local charities. Twenty percent of all purchases during this time will go to benefit Autism Speaks, Backstoppers, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Ronald McDonald Foundation or the Siteman Cancer Center. The event kicks off a re-launch of the market at 9160 Clayton Road. Customers can enjoy samples from pastry chef Russell Ping as well as other free food and drink. Go to www.BuschsGrove.com for more information.

Arthur Ainsberg is an author and Wall Street financial veteran whose successful battle with Hodgkin’s disease sparked his interest in medical history. On Monday, he was featured in the New York Times science section in an article entitled “Rediscovering the First Miracle Drug,” about insulin. Ainsberg, along with Thea Cooper, wrote “Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle,” a new book (published last month) that details one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century, bringing to life those who made it happen and those who lives were changed forever because of the drug. In conjunction with the book, an exhibit at the New York Historical Society called “Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin” opened Tuesday and will run through Jan. 31. Ainsberg will be in St. Louis this weekend as part of the Big Read festival, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Clayton. He is scheduled to read and sign his book from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. in the Maryville Tent. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.culturalfestivals.org.